Chris Spielman & Dave Brandon Talk Tressel, OSU on WJR

Frank Beckman had a couple interesting guests on his WJR broadcast this morning. Both had some things to say about the Ohio State/Tressel situation. I particularly enjoyed what Chris had to say about players getting paid and how he feels about student/athletes budgeting their money. [Audio clips below]
"I wouldn't mind a stipend for players. If the Big Ten wants to add a stipend … fine. But here's what I would say to any player:

"OK, you're struggling with money. How about this. How about you rent an apartment with four guys, to cut down on your living expenses. How about not getting the latest, greatest smart phone. How about not downloading 100 dollars or 50 dollars worth of iTunes. How about going to a discount retailer and getting a coat and a tie and wearing that every week. How about not driving a (nice) car; get a used beater for a thousand bucks.

"How about doing things the right way. How about sharing rides. Let's do that instead of thinking that you're owed something.

"See my problem is we live — and we've got to be careful as parents — in a very narcissistic society because everybody believes they're owed something. Because we have Facebook and all these social networks and everybody thinks they're a freaking star: Let's post pictures online so everyone can see my great accomplishments.

"So until we get guys to realize it's not about them, it's about the team … And it's OK to suffer a little bit financially while you're in school, and you're going to be better for it. Then kids will make better decisions.

"But don't whine to me about money when you're getting free money already (scholarship, living expenses). We'll give you a little extra. But, hey, sacrifice on the clothes, the cars, the electronic toys. And maybe go without a PlayStation or an Xbox for a while, too. See how that works."
[HT: DetNews, WJR]

Chris during his Lion's days, the Chris Spielman I prefer to remember.
Chris Spielman:
Chris Spielman WJR Interview 5-31-11 by MaizeBlueNation

Dave Brandon:
  Dave Brandon WJR Interview 5-31-11 by MaizeBlueNation

Incoming: Allen Gant

Reminder: The 2012 recruiting board lives here.


Rivals: NR WR
Scout: ★★★ S
ESPN: NR WR
24/7: NR ATH

Michigan welcomes a legacy commit, Allen Gant, son of former Wolverine Tony Gant as the latest commitment. Allen becomes the 13th overall commit for the 2012 class, and the 6th from the state of Ohio. Allen called into WTKA this morning around 8:30 to announce his commitment to Sam and Ira.

This is a nice pickup in terms of getting a good prospect in a position where talent is going to be needed very soon. We've all known about the lack of talent and problems keeping good/healthy bodies in the defensive backfield as of late, so this prospect is a welcome one.

Some of the recruiting sites list him as WR, but make no mistake, Michigan is recruiting him as a safety. But having some WR experience is not bad. He's listed at 6-2, 210...which would put him right at the top of the chart in terms of size with our current defensive backs.

For much more detailed info, mgoblog has the rundown.

Other Offers:
Ball State, BC, Cincy, Illinois, Kentucky, Stanford, Toledo, West Virginia. There was also interest, but no offer from Indiana and Ohio State.

Hype Video:

The George Dohrmann Article, Pryor Under Investigation

The much anticipated George Dohrmann article has been posted for our eager consumption. Waste no more time with your family on this beautiful Memorial Day, and go here to read it.

SI.com video:





Also, take a look at this Dispatch article which says that Ohio State AND the NCAA are now both investigating Pryor for accepting cars and other gifts that violate NCAA rules. This investigation is in addition to the one currently going on involving Ohio State/Tressel and his 5 players who sold awards, autographs and memorabilia for free tattoos.
The NCAA and the Ohio State University's compliance office are conducting an independent investigation of Terrelle Pryor amid allegations that the star quarterback may have received cars and other extra benefits, sources told The Dispatch today.

Pryor has been questioned by OSU compliance officials in the past, but sources said this is the most significant inquiry to date. He already has been interviewed at least once by investigators within the past few weeks, sources said.

Pryor and the cars he drives have been an issue since he arrived on campus three years ago. Pryor has been connected to more than a half dozen vehicles during his time at Ohio State, according to sources.

Ohio State spokesman Jim Lynch wouldn't confirm whether Pryor is being investigated. 
Oh yeah, and tonight, May 30, 2011, Pryor pulled into the football complex at Ohio State for a mandatory team meeting in a Nissan 350z with tinted windows and dealer tags.

There is no end to the sense of entitlement by some Ohio State players. There is no question that the spread of the corruption at Ohio State is vast and yet to be fully revealed.

Just the events that have played out in the last 6 months have only showed that Jim Tressel cheated and lied about it, and the majority of his star players have been allowed to continue to play football while breaking the rules. Never mind that AD Gene Smith and OSU president Gordon Gee have stood fully behind their head coach...Gee even remarking in the press conference that he just hopes that Tressel doesn't dismiss him!

Don't just laugh that comment off as a joke. They built Jim Tressel up as the savior of Ohio State football. They built the program based on his winning percentage, not his character. Fans looked past the Clarett debacle, and the history of rumored scandal that had followed Tressel from his days at Youngstown State. And because he beat Michigan every year, it was an easy sell to the fans.

I don't know what else will happen at Ohio State because of this latest news. We may not know for a while. But I do know that the coaching search has been shifted into high gear in Columbus, and many marquee names have already been dropped into the hat. I just don't see how you can get a top-tier coach to come to a school that is about to be handcuffed by the NCAA for multiple major violations. Tressel's resignation may lessen the blow, but probably not that much.

We will just have to see how this all plays out.

CTRL-P

Download your very own PDF version here.

Tressel Resigns


According to the Columbus Dispatch, Jim Tressel has resigned as the head coach at Ohio State. Assistant coach Luke Fickell will serve as the interim coach for the 2011 season.
The Dispatch has obtained a memo Gee sent to OSU trustees this morning:

"I write to let you know that later this morning we will be announcing the resignation of Jim Tressel as head coach of the University's football program. As you all know, I appointed a special committee to analyze and provide advice to me regarding issues attendant to our football program. In consultation with the senior leadership of the University and the senior leadership of the Board, I have been actively reviewing the matter and have accepted Coach Tressel's resignation.

"My public statement will include our common understanding that throughout all we do, we are One University with one set of standards and one overarching mission. The University's enduring public purposes and its tradition of excellence continue to guide our actions," Gee wrote. 
Fair or not fair, the storm of allegations surrounding the program were only going to get worse, and the writing on the wall was becoming more and more clear that something drastic needed to be done.

Much more on the fallout about this soon. Stay tuned. Happy Memorial Day.

Update: An article about Tressel by George Dohrmann, Pulitzer Prize winning writer for Sports Illustrated that was set to go live tomorrow at noon, will be posted late today/tonight. It is widely speculated that this article may have had something to do with Tressel stepping down...perhaps the straw that broke the camel's back. It has also been reported that this article will reveal the reason for the timing of Tressel's decision.

As soon as we see it, we'll do our best to get a link to it posted here. I am traveling from Ohio (!) back to Michigan later this afternoon/evening, so we'll do our best.

The NCAA Taketh Away

Ray Small: The proverbial skeleton in the closet.
There is a lot going on right now, but most importantly, the writing is on the wall for tOSU's possible NCAA sanctions. The NCAA has driven home their punishment for USC by denying their appeal, including the loss of 30 scholarships, another year of post-season ban, the stripping of wins from the 2004-05 season. And most notably, it is expected that the BCS will strip USC of their 2004 National Championship. However, trying to make sense of the BCS is its own frustrating task. So don't expect anything at this point.



This has to be very bad news for tOSU fans out there who were hoping that the NCAA would go lenient on them for their own violations.

This alone is bad enough news. Enter: Ray Small.

Can I just add, that aside from the hit, get a good look at that field. I'm convinced that that track was solely responsible for Michigan's loss there in 06. What a joke. Just sayin...

But things got worse for tOSU when former WR Ray Small (seen in the video clip above), decided to open his mouth to The Lantern, tOSU's student newspaper. The important bits:
“I had sold my things but it was just for the money,” Small said. “At that time in college, you’re kind of struggling.”

“We had four Big Ten rings,” he said. “There was enough to go around.”

The wheeling and dealing didn’t stop with rings. The best deals came from car dealerships, Small said.

“It was definitely the deals on the cars. I don’t see why it’s a big deal,” said Small, who identified Jack Maxton Chevrolet as the players’ main resource.

“They have a lot (of dirt) on everybody,” Small said, “cause everybody was doing it.”

“When I was in college, in my opinion, I was the bad guy,” Small said. “I mean I knew that I was being the bad guy. I had took on that role.”

“They explain the rules to you, but as a kid you’re not really listening to all of them rules,” Small said. “You go out and you just, people show you so much love, you don’t even think about the rules. You’re just like ‘Ah man, it’s cool.’ You take it, and next thing you know the NCAA is down your back.”

I'm not sure what this all means for the investigation that is currently going on, but I can only assume it doesn't bode well. This certainly makes the case for the crown jewel of NCAA violations...lack of institutional control, which was not a violation that the NCAA had initially handed down to tOSU in their most recent report.

If you want a good reaction from tOSU players, head over to Eleven Warriors, where they have cataloged a litany of Twitter posts regarding the subject.

Sigh.

Meanwhile, in Ann Arbor, Dave Brandon told Sam Webb live on WTKA yesterday morning [HT: MVictors] that the photos released by the Free Press last week of the possible throwback jersey for the Notre Dame game was not what the uni will look like.

   Dave Brandon Discusses the Throwback Jersey by MaizeBlueNation

Also, Brandon has also discussed his vision for the Big House, and how he would like to see it grow. He thinks closing in the south end of the stadium with a second deck and an upper concourse would help get the capacity to around 120,000 seats...a number he claims is certainly possible given the status of the season ticket waiting list.

This Just In: All B1G Fans Want B1G Title Game in Their City

Indy's Lucas Oil Stadium
Chicago's Soldier Field
Last week we learned that the league had boiled its possible destinations for hosting the 2011 Big Ten Championship game down to two cities; Chicago and Indianapolis. This is great news if your favorite team is close to either town. This is also crappy news if your favorite team is not close to either town.

But here's the thing, your favorite team is close to either town. It's just not as close as a town that already has a NFL football facility worthy of hosting such an event...Detroit, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Minneapolis, Green Bay.

Indy and Chicago are both great pics. Obvious ones, really. Each has their pros/cons. One is safe and indoors (Lucas Oil Stadium does have a retractable roof), and one is wild and outdoors. Indy and Chicago are both good cities that can easily handle the 60,000+ influx of fans. Both are very centrally located within the Big Ten footprint. Both offer state of the art stadiums that will surely do the league proud when Nebraska wins the game. And both cities have plenty to do that would draw in even casual Big Ten fans who's team might not be playing in the game.

But here's the problem; everyone thinks their city should have at least considered. Michigan/Sparty fans think Detroit would be perfect. tOSU fans think Cleveland would be perfect. Penn State fans think Pittsburgh would be perfect. Minnesota/Wisconsin fans think Minneapolis would be perfect. Think I'm crazy?

Via ESPN.com/Adam Rittenberg: Andy from Ann Arbor and Keith from Detroit think Ford Field is the obvious choice. Steve and Colton from Ohio both like Cleveland. Nate from California and Craig from Massachusetts like the Twin Cities mainly because they're most likely white, but also thinks the Indy/Chicago decision was an obvious one because they know how to be impartial.

The point is, you have to think of this from a "Mr. Big Ten Commissioner" perspective.

I think the nod will go to Indy simply because it's the safest bet. It's indoors. You know what you're going to get. And most importantly, it gives everyone involved (financially) a nice warm and fuzzy feeling. No chance of a poor turnout because of weather.

Frankly, I'd like to see the game hosted by the school with the better record. Now there's something to play for! And if there is a tie, flip a coin. But that doesn't make sense in this era of most revenue for big companies/TV networks. It's not about what the fans want, it always has and always will be about what the major advertisers and corporate "fat cats" want. Don't like that policy? Oh well.

But hey, this is just my opinion. What say you?

Busted

Are These Michigan's Throwback Jerseys?

As we all know by now, when Michigan and Notre Dame tussle this fall under the lights at the Big House, both squads will be wearing throwback uniforms. While no official releases/photos have made their way out of either camp, that has not stopped anyone from speculating what the throwbacks will look like.

There is an image gaining traction today on various corners of the Michigan interwebs...

This comes from the Detroit Free Press who had this to say about the image.
If this Michigan football jersey looks like something Bennie Oosterbaan or another Wolverines star from yesteryear might have worn, well, that's the point.

Michigan's jersey, according to a sample provided to the Free Press, will be modeled after the image shown above. A small number also will be added to the upper-left corner of the jersey front, opposite the Adidas logo.
As you might expect, Greg from MVictors points out that Bennie O didn't wear anything resembling those uniforms. Greg also points out that the arm stripes, especially ones as obnoxious as these, had never appeared on any Michigan uniform at any point in history.

Brian from mgopanic says the time is now for your eyeballs to melt from their sockets.

Rest assured, when the official release comes from UM media relations, we'll have that posted here within minutes of it landing in my inbox. Until then, resist the urge to accept this image as truth. Consider the source folks.

Incoming: Terry Richardson

The 2012 recruiting board lives here.


Rivals: ★★★★ CB
Scout: ★★★★ #10 CB
ESPN: NR CB
24/7: ★★★★ #3 CB

The pipeline from Detroit's Cass Tech High School to U of M is alive and well. Michigan has a definite need at the CB spot, and this is a very solid pickup. He's a 4-star prospect across the board. His size (5-9, 162) has been brought up by everyone as an issue, but when you look at his offer list you see that Michigan wasn't the only school out there who sees something in Terry...despite his a apparent lack of size.

Nice get for Hoke. Here's to waiting for another CB to add to the Brady's Arc.

Other Offers:
Alabama, Arizona State, Cincy, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, LSU, Sparty, Notre Dame, tOSU, Oklahoma, Penn State, Pitt, Toledo, UCLA, USC, and Vandy

Hype Video:

Michigan to Play Northwestern in Primetime

You are looking live!
Via UM press release:
Michigan Football Will Face Northwestern in Primetime on Big Ten Network
ANN ARBOR – Michigan-Northwestern will be featured as part of the Big Ten Network’s primetime football lineup this fall, the Big Ten announced Thursday evening. Michigan travels to face Northwestern on October 8, and the game will be televised live at 7 p.m. ET.

It marks the second scheduled night game for the Wolverines in 2011. ESPN earlier this month announced it would broadcast the Notre Dame-Michigan game under the lights on September 10 at Michigan Stadium. The game, scheduled for an 8 p.m. (ET) kickoff, marks the first-ever night contest in Michigan Stadium.

Following is the 2011 Big Ten Network primetime football schedule:
Sept. 2: Youngstown State at Michigan State, 7:30 ET
Sept. 10: Virginia at Indiana, 7 ET
Sept. 17: Arizona State at Illinois, 7 ET
Sept. 24: North Dakota State at Minnesota, 7 ET
Oct. 8: Michigan at Northwestern, 7 ET
Oct. 15: Northwestern at Iowa, 7 ET
Oct. 22: Penn State at Northwestern, 7 ET

We're Talkin' Schedules - tOSU

Previously: Illinois, Indiana

Now: tOSU

2010 Overall Record: 12-1
2010 Big Ten Record: 7-1

Non-Conference Opponents
9/3: Akron (1-11)
9/10: Toledo (8-5)
9/17: @ Miami (7-6)
9/24: Colorado (5-7)

Divisional Opponents
10/15: @ Illinois
10/29: Wisconsin
11/5: Indiana
11/15: @ Purdue
11/19: Penn State

Crossover Opponents
10/1: Michigan State
10/8: @ Nebraska
11/26: @ Michigan

Do Not Play
Iowa
Minnesota
Northwestern

If You Only Watch One tOSU Game in 2011: This one goes without saying. But for the sake of doing this the unbiased way, we will pick Nebraska. I don't see any other game on the tOSU schedule that looks scarier than that one. I think Nebraska is going to enter the conference as maybe the toughest team, so it's going to be up to tOSU to give them a good early test. However, you could also argue Michigan State is going to be tOSU's toughest test because of the suspended coach/players.

Non-Conference Loss: tOSU plays their usual MAC opponents, and I don't see any problems getting by Akron/Toledo or a struggling Colorado squad. So that just leaves Miami. The Hurricanes gave tOSU a good game in Columbus last year, and now the Buckeyes will travel to South Beach without their head coach and 5 starters. No question that game is a toss up right now.

It's a Trap!: I think the trap game for tOSU is Illinois on October 15. The Illini have offered up their trap services before for the Buckeyes, and their position in this year's schedule, right after Nebraska and right before Wisconsin makes them ripe to play spoiler again. If tOSU can get past Nebraska, they might just be overlooking the Illini before Wisconsin comes calling.

The Game Destined for ESPN3.com: September 10th against Toledo is going to be a snoozer. Even with Tressel and the tattooed five sitting out, this game should be over be halftime.

Final Analysis: The absence of Tressel, Pryor, Adams, Posey, Herron and Thomas will have a substantial impact on the first 5 games of the season. There are two very real obstacles in Miami and Michigan State. If they can clear those two teams, or maybe just one of them, then I think tOSU could string together another BCS-type of year. But the first game back for those fellas is the trip to Nebraska. I just don't see tOSU getting out of Lincoln with a win. But their first divisional game isn't until October 15th, so if they can get their act together by then, I can easily see tOSU going to the B1G Championship game. They are probably the best team in the "Woody" division.

Fearless Predictions
Non-conference record: 3-1
Division Record: 5-0
Crossover Record: 1-2
Overall: 9-3

We're Talkin' Schedules - Indiana

Previously: Illinois

Up now: Indiana

2010 Overall Record: 5-7
2010 Big Ten Record: 1-7

Non-Conference Opponents
9/3: Ball State (4-8)
9/10: Virginia (4-8)
9/17: South Carolina State (9-3)
9/24: @ North Texas (3-9)

Divisional Opponents
10/1: Penn State
10/8: Illinois
10/15: @ Wisconsin
11/5: @ tOSU
11/26: Purdue

Crossover Opponents
10/22: @ Iowa
10/29: Northwestern
11/19: @ Michigan State

Do Not Play
Michigan
Minnesota
Nebraska

If You Only Watch One Indiana Game in 2011: It better be Penn State. For some reason this game intrigues me. I like Kevin Wilson, IU's brand new coach. I think he's one of the great up-and-comers in the league. I like this game because I think IU can hang with the Nittany Lions. There's no question 2011 is going to be rough in Bloomington, but this game is early enough in the schedule that an upset might be possible. Plus Penn State could still be ironing out their issues at QB.

Non-Conference Loss: Most would likely pick Virginia on 9/10. But I wouldn't count out South Carolina State. IU is going to need to regroup quick under their new coach, and there could be some hiccups along the way.

It's a Trap!: Well, to be fair, IU could be more of a trap game for other B1G opponents, but not likely. I would say South Carolina State is IU's biggest trap simply because they are an FCS team...but it doesn't really fit the true definition of a "trap" game.

The Game Destined for ESPN3.com: Again, take your pick. Any of their non-conference games would qualify. And probably Illinois, Iowa, Northwestern or Michigan State.

Final Analysis: Let me be clear. The bar is not set very high in Bloomington for 2011. And although I think better things are in place for a few years down the road, it's going to be a bumpy road. It always has been for Indiana. But I'm going to be keeping an eye on Kevin Wilson.

Fearless Predictions
Non-conference record: 2-2
Division Record: 1-4
Crossover Record: 0-3
Overall: 3-9

We're Talkin' Schedules - Illinois

It's mid-May in college football land. So we're talkin' schedules. What's more? We're going to be so bold as to dive in head-first and offer up some predictions. Is this going to be messy? Sure. But what the hell.

Let's start off with the "Woody" division, and alphabetically at the top of that heap...Illinois.

2010 Overall Record: 7-6
2010 Big Ten Record: 4-4

Non-Conference Opponents
9/3: Arkansas State (4-8)
9/10: South Dakota State (5-6)
9/17: Arizona State (6-6)
9/24: Western Michigan (6-6)

Divisional Opponents
10/8: @ Indiana
10/15: tOSU
10/22: @ Purdue
10/29: @ Penn State
11/19: Wisconsin

Crossover Opponents
10/1: Northwestern
11/12: Michigan
11/26: @ Minnesota

Do Not Play
Michigan State
Nebraska
Iowa

If You Only Watch One Illinois Game in 2011: Without a doubt, it's the Michigan game...that's obvious. But if there's another game, it's gotta be tOSU. This will be the 2nd game back for Tressel (or not?) and his five tattooed starters. Illinois might be able to catch tOSU coming off a loss to Nebraska the week prior, so that could impact this game tremendously. The Illini could be coming into this game with a full head of steam thanks to an easier than normal non-conference slate because they miss playing Missouri this year (thankfully for Illinois).

Non-Conference Loss: The only real threat to the non-conf slate is Arizona State on September 17th. The Sun Devils will be sporting their fancy new unis, and will probably march into Champaign and proclaim it theirs. It will be a good game, as I see the Illini putting up a good fight for a half.

It's a Trap!: I'm torn between October 1 at Indiana, and October 22 at Purdue. Both opponents could easily sneak up on the Illini. More likely is probably Purdue...especially if Illinois somehow gets past tOSU. They have Penn State on the road the following week which starts the home stretch of the schedule with big games against Michigan and Wisconsin at home.

The Game Destined for ESPN3.com: No one is going to care about watching the Illini line up against South Dakota State on September 10th. Illinois will enter the game 1-0 and should...all things being equal, leave the game 2-0.

Final Analysis: This is going to be the classic type of season for a BCS-conference middle-of-the-road team. Start out 6-0 or more likely 5-1, and then completely fall apart when the conference portion of the schedule starts. But if the Illini get rolling and can keep that momentum going with a big win against tOSU, a New Year's Day bowl could be possible.

Fearless Predictions
Non-conference record: 3-1
Division Record: 2-3
Crossover Record: 2-1
Overall: 7-5

B1G Coaches Hot Seat - Leaders Division

It's baaaaack! The 2nd installment of the B1G Coaches Hot Seat 2011 edition. You can read the Legends division post here.

And for those just joining the party, you can read the previous 3 years of BTCHS at these links:
2008: Part 1, Part 2
2009: Part 1, Part 2
2010: Part 1, Part 2

The Legends division sees 3 new coaches this year, and some relatively safe bets with Ferentz, Dantonio and Fitzgerald. But the Leaders division is not going to be so safe. There are some really ugly coaching situations here, and that is why the Legends went first. Save the ugliest division for last.

The scale for your reference...
Totally Safe: Can literally lose every game and still be elected governor
Safe for Now: Can have an off-year and still be okay
Needs a Good Year: Needs to improve from 2010
Needs a Great Year: 2011 could be the end if things don't get better fast
Dead Man Walking: Probably won't make it through 2011

So let's get it on!

Ron Zook - Illinois
How do you do it, Ron?
7th Season
2005: 2-9
2006: 2-10
2007: 9-4
2008: 5-7
2009: 3-9
2010: 7-6
Total: 28-45

I'll just say it now, I don't know how Ron Zook is still employed at Illinois.

Last year we said he was a dead man walking. He went 7-6 overall and 4-4 in the B1G. He lost to Mizzou, tOSU, Sparty, Michigan (3OT), Minnesota and Fresno State. He beat Penn State and then Baylor in the Texas Bowl. That's the extent of his impressive wins last year.

That win in the Texas Bowl probably saved Zook. Or at least bought him another year. His contract ends in 2014.

As far as what Zook has to work with coming back, he only has 6 starters coming back in defense...the same defense that gave up 67 points to Michigan last year. Actually, other than that game, Illinois wasn't that bad on defense. Not great, but not bad. Much of the front 7 are gone, but the secondary will be pretty good.

He must also replace leading rusher Mikel Leshoure, who racked up 1,600 yards rushing last year. But returning QB Nathan Scheelhaase (who's name I hate to type) could have a nice year. But never underestimate the importance of replacing a great punter...and that's what Anthony Sentella was last year.

I suspect a carbon-copy of 2010 for Zook and Illini. If they can get to 7-8 wins...or 6 wins and back into a whocares.com bowl, then Zook will likely be safe. Their schedule sets them up for exactly that. Probably 3 non-conference wins and 3 or 4 B1G wins.


Important Games in 2011:
9/17 vs Arizona State
10/15 vs tOSU
11/12 vs MICH
11/19 vs WISC

MBN Hotness Meter: Needs a Good Year

Kevin Wilson - Indiana
First Season
Career Record: 0-0

I'm just going to say this now, watch out for Indiana. Not this year. Probably not next year, but soon. Indiana hit it out of the park with this hire. Wilson was a big reason why Oklahoma was so good for the last nine years, as their OC from 2006-2010, and as co-OC and OL coach from 2002-2005.

It was just a matter of time for Bill Lynch. He needed to put together a bowl team like he did in 09...and he just didn't have the players. He had Ben Chappell...who was good. But that was about it. Let's face it, you can't get away with playing Towson every week.

A solid 7 starters on offense and 6 on defense will give Wilson a base to build off of. Most of the OL and both kickers come back as well. The schedule will test the new coach once the B1G games start, as it should. I suspect more than 1 B1G win, which is all they got in 2010. But this season will be a struggle.

Important Games in 2011:
9/10 vs Virginia
10/1 vs PSU
10/15 @ WISC
11/5 @ tOSU
11/26 vs PUR


MBN Hotness Meter: Safe for Now

Jim Tressel - Ohio State
11th Season
2001: 7-5
2002: 14-0
2003: 11-2
2004: 8-4
2005: 10-2
2006: 12-1
2007: 11-2
2008: 10-3
2009: 11-2
2010: 12-1
Total: 106-22

Wow. What a difference a year makes.

Last year, he was by far the safest B1G coach. He and his $3.8 million dollar contract were the class of the league. He has amassed as insanely impressive coaching resume in Columbus. Even amid all of the uncertainty and ugliness around his program right now, there are still many who think that it will be Tressel's "senator" image and his on-the-field success that will save him from losing his job.

But even as I write this, there is no way to know for sure if he'll be on the sideline this coming season. All signs point to yes. After he sits out his 5-game suspension, it is assumed that he'll be back in the saddle. I think it will take a swift NCAA ruling, or more ugly headlines like the ones that are just coming out now about some tOSU players are/were getting free used cars that will ultimately force Sir Teflon to fall on his own sword. But make no mistake, Tressel is a very proud guy who takes his image very seriously...it will take a lot for him to step down on his own.

So for the sake of doing this, let's just say he does come back after his suspension and coaches the last 7 games of the season. I'm assuming tOSU still does pretty well...possibly still contending for a league championship...probably going to a BCS bowl. When the NCAA finally gets around to deciding tOSU's/Tressel's fate (which will likely be bad), I don't see any way that Tressel is the coach in 2012. He's simply going to be way to toxic at that point.

Plus, all of the bucknuts will be calling for Urban Meyer to step in by that point anyway, most won't even care that Tressel is gone. Some are already of that mindset in Columbus.

Important Games in 2011:
9/17 @ Miami FL
10/1 vs MSU
10/ 8 @ NEB
10/29 vs WISC
11/19 vs PSU
11/26 @ MICH

MBN Hotness Meter: Dead Man Walking*

*No coach has ever gone from one end of the scale to the other in one season.

A Great Night for Mott Leaves Coach Carr Speechless

John T. Greilick / The Detroit News
Last night, Brian Griese, who QB'd Michigan to a share of the overall 1997 National Championship, gave his old coach some really great news.

Among a crowd of around 800 people at a fundraising dinner for Mott Children's hospital, many of which were former players for UM, Brian made the announcement that Lloyd Carr is going to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

This was Carr's first year on the ballot.

But that wasn't the biggest news for Carr last night, Angelique Chengelis writes in The Detroit News...
Michigan donor Al Glick not only donated $3 million to Mott in Carr's name, but he also donated $3 million for improvements to Schembechler Hall, the football building.

Carr was clearly choked up after the announcements of the donations made to Mott in his name.

"You can only imagine what an honor this is," Carr said Saturday night.

Carr, who said he was informed of his Hall of Fame induction earlier in the week, praised his players.

"That's really how I got (to the Hall)," he said. "You don't win games unless you have great athletes and people who are willing to play a role." 
I can only imagine that Carr was far more taken back by the announcement of the donation being made than his entry into the HOF.

But that wasn't all, a group of former players announced a fund has been created to raise money for Mott in Carr's name, the Coach Carr Mountaintop Fund, which has already secured $750,000 in donations before last night's dinner.

Michael Rothstein writes on AnnArbor.com...
But the Mott Children’s Hospital announcement shocked and touched him, especially as Hutchinson read off the lengthy list of names of players who contributed to the fund.

Among them, Jake Long donated over $100,000 to the fund. Tom Brady and his wife, supermodel Gisele, donated over $50,000, as did current Michigan football coach Brady Hoke and his wife.

It left Carr almost speechless.

Carr and his wife, Laurie, had been instrumental in helping to have the new Mott hospital, which opens in November, built.

“All those car washes and the women’s academy, I think they were positive not only for the hospital and the cancer, but it was positive for Michigan football,” Carr said. “You let some people in the program and they got to get a good look, get exposed to the coaches and the players in a different, not after a game.

“So, I don’t know. I think when you have an opportunity in a position like this, like the head football coach at Michigan, you have an opportunity to do some things outside.”
Coach Carr has always been such an advocate for the Children's Hospital, and this donation made in his name is a small acknowledgement of his efforts and dedication. Our hat's off to Lloyd and the entire Michigan football family for making all of this happen.

Michigan vs Notre Dame Will Air on ESPN


Via UM Media Relations:
Michigan-Notre Dame Game on September 10 Slated for ESPN
ANN ARBOR – ESPN announced Thursday the Notre Dame vs. Michigan game on September 10 at Michigan Stadium will be telecast in primetime on ESPN.  The game, scheduled for an 8 p.m. (ET) kickoff, marks the first-ever night contest in Michigan Stadium.  The game will not appear on ABC due to the NASCAR Sprint Cup series, which will be broadcast live at 7:30 p.m. (ET).

Notre Dame-Michigan will be one of seven games this season in primetime on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2 featuring a Big Ten team:
Sept. 1:  UNLV at Wisconsin, ESPN, 8 ET
Sept. 10:  Notre Dame at Michigan, ESPN, 8 ET
Oct. 1:  Notre Dame at Purdue, ABC/ESPN/ESPN2, 8 ET
Oct. 1:  Nebraska at Wisconsin, ABC/ESPN/ESPN2, 8 ET
Oct. 8:  Ohio State at Nebraska, ABC/ESPN/ESPN2, 8 ET
Oct. 22:  Wisconsin at Michigan State, ABC/ESPN/ESPN2, 8 ET
Oct. 29:  Wisconsin at Ohio State, ABC/ESPN/ESPN2, 8 ET

There's Just Something About a Game 7


I'm not a betting man, but if I were, I'd put the house on Detroit. Anyone who watched game 6 knows why. San Jose, aside from their goalie, had very little to do with that game. When the Sharks aren't getting the calls when they fall down, and are forced to play straight up, talent wins. Detroit just has more.

Eleven Stanley Cups versus none.

San Jose is synonymous with choking in the clutch. Detroit has always been known as a team that plays well when it matters most. Both of those have been on display over the last 3 games. It's time for Detroit to claim only the 4th ever comeback from being down 3 games to 0 in league history.

Puck drops shortly after 9 on Versus. Go Wings!

Incoming: Matt Godin

Another day...another top recruit. The 2012 recruiting board lives here.

Rivals: NR DT
Scout: ★★★ #39 DE
ESPN: NR DT
24/7: ★★★★ #11 SDE

Okay, it's now safe to say that Hoke and Mattison can recruit insanely well. First of all, they are dominating the state of Michigan, and making a dent in Ohio as well. If you look at the size of these defensive players, including Godin who stands 6-6, 265, there's clearly a difference in what Rodriguez/Robinson thought was big enough for the B1G, and what Hoke/Mattison think is big enough. I think I'm with Hoke so far.

The recruiting sites disagree which position Matt plays, but the ones with ratings list him as a DE...so that's what we do as well. This kid is a junior in HS and he already looks like JJ Watt. This is a very nice pick up for Michigan. I think it clearly shows that the time is now to commit to Michigan if you're a standout defensive player in the midwest. I don't know how many more DE/LB spots are left on the recruiting board. But I think Hoke is doing his best to make this team bigger and tougher as fast as he can.

Other Offers:
BC, Buffalo, Cincy, Duke, Illinois, Sparty, Mizzou, Syracuse, Vandy, Wisconsin. No offers, but there was interest from Oregon and Penn State.

Hype Video:

The Team? The Team.

HT: mgoblog
Try to watch this without getting goosebumps. I dare you.


Is it September 3rd yet?

At Least They Have the Garbage Cans Labeled Correctly

HT: MZone

At the aptly-named Value City Arena on the campus of THE Ohio State University, at least the garbage cans are correctly labeled.

Incoming: Mario Ojemudia

The 2012 recruiting board lives here.

Rivals: NR WDE
Scout: ★★★★ #17 DT
ESPN: NR DE
24/7: ★★★ #89 WDE

The other DE to commit to Michigan last weekend is 6-3, 215, Farmington Hills, MI native Mario Ojemudia. Kind of odd that the recruiting sites vary so much on his rankings. The two that have rankings are a little off, so we'll see where Rivals and ESPN come in when their ratings go up. Either way, it's another solid defensive commitment from an in-state player.

Other Offers:
CMU, Illinois, Iowa, Sparty, Missou, Stanford, Syracuse.

Hype Video:

Incoming: Pharaoh Brown

The 2012 recruiting board lives here.

Rivals: NR DE
Scout: ★★★ #45 DE, TE
ESPN: NR DE
24/7: ★★★★ #10 DE

Keeping with tradition, Michigan landed two commits over the weekend who happen to play the same position. However, this time its two defensive ends. First is Cleveland, OH native Pharaoh Brown. He stands 6-6, 220. Rivals and ESPN don't have their ratings up, but Scout ranks him the #45 overall DE and 24/7 gives him a little more love with the #10 overall DE spot. A couple of the sites also list him as a TE, which is not likely to be his collegiate specialty, but it's nice to have that ability as well.

Other Offers:
Arizona State, BC, Cincy, Colorado, UConn, Illinois, Louisville, Sparty, Nebraska, NC, NC State, Northern Ill, Pitt, Purdue, Syracuse, Vandy, West Virginia.

Hype Video:

B1G Coaches Hot Seat - Legends Division

You are looking live!

It's that wonderful time of year again...May in Michigan football blogger-land. It's that time of the year when there is absolutely nothing interesting to write about. So serious bloggers, such as myself, are forced to be creative and come up with content to fill these endless virtual pages.

So that bring us to our 4th annual B1G Coaches Hot Seat [2008: Part 1, Part 2. 2009: Part 1, Part 2. 2010 Part 1, Part 2]. It's a fair, unbiased and hard look at the overall status of each B1G coach, how they are doing, and how much longer we think they'll be doing it. We're certainly not the only blog out there that does this, but we like to think we're the one that does it best. So let's get it on!

Today we'll look at the Legends Division, which welcomes 2 new coaches to the league, as well as Nebraska's Bo Pelini.

Same scale as always:
Totally Safe: Can literally lose every game and still be elected governor
Safe for Now: Can have an off-year and still be okay
Needs a Good Year: Needs to improve from 2010
Needs a Great Year: 2011 could be the end if things don't get better fast
Dead Man Walking: Probably won't make it through 2011

Kirk Ferentz - Iowa
The classic Ferentz stare. Hands on hips, eyes on the prize.
13th Season
1999: 1-10
2000: 3-9
2001: 7-5
2002: 11-2
2003: 10-3
2004: 10-2
2005: 7-5
2006: 6-7
2007: 6-6
2008: 9-4
2009: 11-2
2010: 8-5
Total: 89-60

Ferentz took a bit of a hit in Iowa City last year with a 8-5 season and tying for 4th in the league at 4-4. He also took a another hit in the off-season when 13 of his players had to be hospitalized due to intense off-season workouts. And ugly situation for Iowa, and one that is still being worked out. 

Last year we had him totally safe. But with losses at Arizona, Wisconsin and tOSU at home, and two ugly losses on the road at Northwestern and Minnesota, the heat has been instantly turned up to the point where it was prior to 2008.

Hard to really say that Kirk is really in need of a good or great season. He's proven throughout his career that he can win at Iowa. But he's losing a considerable amount of talent on both sides of the ball going into this season. He needs to replace his QB Ricky Stanzi (!), a couple guards, WR Colin Sanderman and his starting FB and TE.

On the other side of the ball, the defensive line will need to replace Adrian Clayborn (!), Christian Ballard and Karl Klug. LB Jeremiha Hunter and DB Tyler Sash are also gone.

Fortunately, Iowa's schedule is kind to them to start the season. But a repeat of 2010 is likely with so much rebuilding taking place.

No question Kirk Ferentz is an institution at Iowa. He's one of the most successful and most respected coaches in the league. He's the highest paid coach in the B1G at $3.3 million dollars a year, and his current contract which was extended in 2009, will end in 2016.

Important Games in 2011:
9/17 vs PITT
10/8 @ PSU
11/5 vs MICH
11/25 @ NEB 

MBN Hotness Meter: Safe for Now

Brady Hoke - Michigan
Brady likes to point at things.
First Season
Career Record: 47-50 (8 years)

We now know for sure how high the bar is set for Michigan coaches. Beat tOSU. Beat Sparty. That is the rallying cry in Ann Arbor. Brady Hoke gets it. He gets it so well, there are two countdown clocks in the Michigan weight room, one counting down to kickoff against Michigan State, and the other counting down to kickoff against tOSU.

For all of the things that RichRod was good at, he was really bad at two things...playing defense, and beating (or even being competitive against) tOSU. Even a New Year's Day bowl was not enough to salvage the Rodriguez era. Not when you lose that bowl game 52-14.

Hoke represents a cleansing of the RichRod era at Michigan. He has that "Michigan Man" pedigree that seemed so important to so many people, including AD Dave Brandon.

So far the proverbial air around the program just seems so much cleaner. Players seem happier, the defense is already looking much more improved, Denard is still here. And most importantly, Hoke has made a great impression so far with recruiting. The program is communicating more openly with area HS coaches, and the hiring of Raven's DC and former Michigan DC Greg Mattison is already paying dividends.

No question it is way to early to tell how good or bad Michigan will be on the field this year. I do however expect a much improved defense and just a better overall team. Hoke welcomes back 10 starters on offense and 9 on defense. They don't have a road game until the 2nd week of October, and only head out on the road 4 times.

Once that foot meets a football on September 3rd, the honeymoon will be over, and it will be time for Hoke and company to show us what they got. Michigan fans will have no problem forgetting the RichRod era, but that's only if Hoke can help us forget. Right now it's simply just a waiting game.

Hoke's contract pays him $2 million dollars a year, which will increase $100 thousand each year, and goes until 2017, with a "stay bonus" of $1.5 million in 2013.

Important Games in 2011:
9/3 vs WMU
9/10 vs ND
10/15 @ MSU
11/19 vs NEB
11/25 vs tOSU

MBN Hotness Meter: Safe for Now

Mark Dantonio - Michigan State
This is Dantonio when he's happy.
5th Season
2007: 7-6
2008: 9-4
2009: 6-7
2010: 11-2
Total: 33-19

Mark Dantonio finally gave Sparty fan the kind of year they had been waiting for. 11 wins and a tie for the B1G championship. A dramatic win in OT against the Irish, a win in Ann Arbor, giving Wisconsin their only loss of the year, and another nice win in Happy Valley. Only a bad road loss to Iowa was the only thing that stood in the way of a perfect season. They were snubbed by the BCS and sent to the Capital One Bowl, where they dismantled by the Crimson Tide 49-7. That and a schedule that did not let them play tOSU were the only set backs in 2010.

But the core of the Sparty offense remain intact for 2011 with 7 starters back, with the exception of 2 tackles, a TE and their center. The defense will have to replace 4 of it's top 5 tacklers. Losing Greg Jones, Eric Gordon, Marcus Hyde and Chris Rucker will hurt this team. I just don't know how deep the talent pool goes.

The 2011 schedule is going to be a bit tougher as well. Sparty plays in a 4 week stretch...@ tOSU, Michigan, Wisconsin, and @ Nebraska. By then end of October, MSU could be sitting at 2-6 if they're not careful, but I don't see that happening.

Don't forget, Sparty is the ONLY B1G team that gets to play the watered-down version of tOSU, which will be without Sir Teflon and his band of 5 merry men.

If Sparty is able to repeat the success of 2010, they're going to need to get some lucky breaks along the way...getting a tOSU when they do is a nice bonus. But Dantonio will have to earn his $1.9 million dollars the hard way if he plans on keeping Sparty fan happy. His current contract ends in 2016.

Important Games in 2011:
9/17 @ ND
10/1 @ tOSU
10/15 vs MICH
10/22 vs WISC
10/29 @ NEB

MBN Hotness Meter: Safe for Now


Jerry Kill - Minnesota
He kinda looks like a gopher. Just sayin'.
First Season
Career Record: 127-73 (17 years)

Jerry Kill brings wealth of experience with him to Minnesota. After coaching at Saginaw Valley State, Emporia State, Southern Illinois and Northern Illinois, he's already put together a 17-year head coaching career. Not exactly a spring chicken.

Minnesota welcomes their new head coach in with a road test at USC in week 1. Welcome to the next level of head coaching Jerry.

But a change was needed at Minnesota. Tim Brewster was clearly not the answer. And although we only thought he needed a good year last year in order to stick around, the Gopher brass clearly thought 1-6 was enough. And Brewster was fired on 10/17 after losing to Purdue 28-17.

To be completely honest with you, I don't really know much about Minnesota. We didn't play them last year, but I can only imagine things will improve for 2011. The Gophers have 6 offensive starters returning, but will need to replace QB Adam Weber, the entire right side of the o-line and their FB. Defensively however, things look better with 8 starts back. Only the nose tackle Jewhan Edwards and safeties Ryan Collado and Kyle Theret will need to be replaced.

Kill's contract pays him a base salary of $500 thousand a year for 5 years.

Important Games in 2011:
9/3 @ USC
10/1 @ MICH
10/22 vs NEB
10/29 vs IOWA
11/12 vs WISC

MBN Hotness Meter: Safe for Now

Bo Pelini - Nebraska
Dantonio is the B1G's resident curmudgeon. Suddenly, a contender emerges.
4th Season
2008: 9-4
2009: 10-4
2010: 10-4
Total: 30-12

First of all, Pelini is a product of tOSU...so there's strike one.

A lot people expect Nebraska to do very well in the B1G. And I am no different. But...I do not expect them to take over, of course...the B1G is far superior to the Big 12 north in terms of opposing talent. Nebraska will find out, just as Penn State did in the early-mid 90's that a B1G schedule is grueling.

The B1G conference has decided to welcome Nebraska to the table with probably the leagues toughest slate. Road games at Wisconsin, Penn State and Michigan...and home games against tOSU, Sparty, Northwestern and Iowa. Thank goodness for the cake-walk non-conference schedule because October and November are going to be challenges.

Pelini brings a very good Cornhusker team to the league...a team that made it all the way to the Big 12 title game against Oklahoma, but lost 23-20. But they lose a few o-linemen, and 3 defensive backs, so there is some work to do there.

As far as I can tell, Pelini seems like a good fit at Nebraska. He was a long-shot to replace RichRod at Michigan back in early January, but I think a lot of that was just speculation by some crazy internet people.

Pelini hauls in $1.851 million dollars a year and his contract goes until 2014.

Important Games in 2011:
10/1 @ WISC
10/8 vs tOSU
11/12 @ PSU
11/19 @ MICH
11/25 vs IOWA

MBN Hotness Meter: Safe for Now

Pat Fitzgerald - Northwestern
Once a linebacker, always a linebacker.
6th Season
2006: 4-8
2007: 6-6
2008: 9-4
2009: 8-5
2010: 7-6
Total: 34-29

I don't really know how to classify Fitzgerald right now. On one hand he's the most perfect-est coach Northwestern could ever have hoped for. He's the prodigal son. He played there during the mid-90's, led Northwestern to maybe one of the most glorious two-year stretches in school history. Became the youngest coach in Div. 1 history. Was selected to the college football hall of fame. If you're a NU fan, you probably love Pat Fitzgerald...and are willing to give him as much time as possible to bake up a championship contender.

And I have no doubt that, if given the time, Fitz can certainly do just that. The question is, how much patience do all twenty-seven Wildcat fans have?

Things have been slowly getting worse in Evanston over the last couple years since the big 9-win season in 2008. But on the bright side, NU welcomes back 9 offensive starters and 7 defensive starters. Couple that with a typical NU non-conference schedule, and they could very well be sitting at 4-0 when Michigan comes calling on Oct 8th. But they split 6 games at home, 6 games on the road...which could wear on a team.

If I could find a NU fan, I would love to ask them what their honest expectations are for 2011. Last year they started off 5-0 before dropping 6 of their last 8 against a typical B1G schedule.

Fitzgerald hauls in $800 thousand dollars a year, and goes until after the 2015 season.

Important Games in 2011:
10/8 vs MICH
10/15 @ IOWA
10/22 vs PSU
11/5 @ NEB
11/25 vs MSU 

MBN Hotness Meter: Needs a Good Year

Incoming: James Ross

We're about one LB away from renaming the 2012 class "Extreme Makeover: Linebacker Edition". Ross marks the 4th LB commit for this class.

The 2012 recruiting page lives here.

Rivals: NR ILB
Scout: ★★★★ #2 ILB
ESPN: NR ILB
24/7: ★★★★ #2 ILB

Michigan's 8th commit to the 2012 class is also it's 4th LB...and maybe the best overall recruit so far.
According to the recruiting sites that have ratings on Ross, he's generally considered the #2 overall inside linebacker in the country. I don't know exactly how big he is, but the sites are all hovering around the 6-0, 215 area.

As you can see from his other offers, Michigan is not the only large school that sees how good he is. This is a huge get for this class.

Other Offers:
Arizona State, Cincy, Illinois, Indiana, Sparty, Missou, Nebraska, ND, tOSU, PSU, Pitt, Purdue, USC.

Hype Video:

What Billboards Were Made For

Along side a freeway somewhere in the state Michigan, a billboard reads...

Thanks to MBN reader Tim for posting this to his Facebook page so I could steal it to post here.